According to US Energy Information Agency (EIA) data, baseload power plants generate more than 75% of both the U.S. and world’s electricity supply. Note – baseload power plants operate 24/7. Thermoelectric fossil-fuel power plants emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and both nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants generate vast quantities of heat that must be removed by large quantities of water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, electric power plants account for nearly half of water withdrawn every day in the United States, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Solaren space solar power plants will generate zero carbon dioxide and only 8% to 13% of the waste heat per megawatt-hour as other baseload power plants, and require no water for thermal cooling processes.
- Fossil-fuel, nuclear, and hydroelectric data from US EIA, and US Geological Survey. Space solar data from Solaren Corporation.
- Withdrawal is the amount of water a power plant takes in from a source such as a river, lake, or ocean for the purpose of cooling steam. Consumption is the amount of water lost through evaporation during the cooling process. Average water withdrawal or consumption is used. The actual values depend on the type of cooling: once-through, closed-cycle, or dry-air. Water withdrawal and consumption data were not available for hydroelectric power plants.
- The heat content of electricity is constant and equal to 3,412,000 Btu per MWh
- Abbreviations: Megawatt-hour (MWh), pounds (lbs.), British Thermal Unit (Btu), Gallons (Ga)